September 2, 2016

Meet Hanna Landrum, new principal second violin

Hanna Landrum
c Alex Cooke Studios
A native of Frontenac, Minnesota, Hanna Landrum joins the RPO this season as principal second violin. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and most recently served as acting concertmaster for the Canton Symphony (Ohio). From 2011 to 2014, she was associate concertmaster of the Firelands Symphony (Ohio), and has spent several summers as a substitute violinist with The Cleveland Orchestra.

When and why did you choose your instrument?
When I was six, I remember my mom asking me if I’d rather take violin lessons or dance. Somewhere within those six years I must have come across a photo of a ballerina’s feet, because I remember thinking very seriously about those two options and deciding that anything that made your feet look like that couldn’t possibly be healthy! I announced that I would be a violinist, and that next Christmas I got a tiny violin. I’m lucky no one told me about the myriad of injuries that can befall a string player!

Why are you looking forward to coming to Rochester?
Everyone I’ve spoken with in the orchestra has been so incredibly warm and welcoming. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and I can’t imagine a better place to begin this next chapter!

What fascinates you besides music?
I grew up on a farm, so I’ve always been naturally drawn to geology and botany. I’ve also recently become fascinated by linguistics, particularly Chomsky’s theories of syntax and the evolution of modern language, and I spend a lot of time reading and writing.

What are you reading right now?
The Recognitions by William Gaddis, Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson-I’m always reading at least three things at once!

Favorite piece you are looking forward to playing this season at the RPO and why?
I’m really excited to play Sean Shepherd’s Magiya (Mar. 9 and 11). It’s a short piece, but it’s filled with a vast array of colors and rich orchestration! I’m also looking forward to performing The Nutcracker for the first time. I was obsessed with it when I was little. Someone gave me a cassette tape of the full ballet and I listened to it over and over until the tape broke and unspooled everywhere.

What advice would you give to a young performer who wants to pursue an orchestral career?

Never turn down an opportunity to hear a new performance, live or recorded. We spend so much time alone in practice rooms, agonizing over etudes and excerpts, that it’s easy to forget what made us fall in love with this career in the first place. It’s incredibly important to keep perspective, and remember that what audiences want to hear is music.

Anything else to share? I got married last year, to an incredibly talented composer!

Look for Hanna onstage this fall, and read more about her on rpo.org!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We look forward to welcoming you. All the best to you in the RPO and marriage.

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